As mentioned previously, I struggled with the idea of presenting my thesis project as a finished exhibition. I wanted to allow people to think through materials, actions and intentions, with no set outcome other than a re-engagement with waste plastic. Forming a community and starting a conversation about recycling practices and the problems associated with plastic were also a main focus of my research, so I needed to think of something that did these things and still allowed people to have fun with it. I decided early on that workshops would be the best way to go about achieving this.
The first workshop for Polymers in Action took place in OCAD U’s Grad studies building and I’m happy to say that it was attended by a range of students and members of the public. I started off with a short presentation of the issues associated with plastics in the environment and a quick look at Project Vortex associated artists and their socially and educationally focussed projects that address these problems. I encouraged an open dialog and was really pleased that so many people were interested in knowing more about local recycling practices and where our waste materials go after we put them in the blue bins.
After our conversation, we all started making stuff! It turned out to be a really fun event, with many people creating some excellent work from the collected plastic. The images below show the creative approaches that everyone took and conveys a small sense of the atmosphere. You really did have to be there… Next time?
A huge thank you to everyone who attended and made the session so fun. I am also very grateful to Nathan Piquette Miller for agreeing to photograph the event.